Audiiophile HTPC Setup

I am starting to build an HTPC for my father, who is planning on connecting it to an audiophile-grade stereo (yet to be purchased). He is planning on using a Peachtree Decco ( as his DAC, so I'm not too concerned with onboard audio quality.

I did however see this new board which claims to have independent power for the audio components. Since he'll be using the Decco, I don't think this makes much of a difference.

Does anyone have any thoughts on this / recommendations on good componnents?

Showing 1 response by almarg

Yes, I don't think the separate audio power is a significant consideration given that he will be using an external dac.

Also, it looks like Asus just introduced that board about 10 days ago, and no one seems to be selling it yet in the USA. I think that by going with it you would risk giving your father a not-yet-mature product, that would subsequently require bios updates, driver updates, and perhaps troubleshooting which would be inconvenient for all concerned given that the computer generally won't be in your possession.

I've built several desktop computers in recent years with both Asus and Gigabyte motherboards, and my experience and that of the majority of other people with whom I've compared notes has been that the recent Gigabyte boards tend to be much more likely to result in "work the first time" trouble-free builds.

Also, as you probably realize, these days Intel cpu's offer better performance, on both an absolute basis and a per dollar basis, than AMD cpu's (the board you listed is AMD-based, of course).

Finally, my instinct is always to stay away from motherboards with integrated graphics (which tend to be lower end products), and get a separate graphics card instead. Although integrated graphics might be inevitable in a micro-ATX form factor (I'm not sure).

What I would suggest is that you go to, search the suitable Intel-based motherboards from Gigabyte and Asus, and scan the review comments which are posted there by users/purchasers. I suspect that you'll end up selecting a Gigabyte board.

-- Al
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